Islamabad Police has placed a ban on providing catering, sound system and tent services to the protesters of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUI-F) Azadi March while hotels, motels and guest houses have also been prohibited to offer them accommodation.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will march on Islamabad on Oct 31 to “topple the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government”, accusing it of coming into power through rigged elections. All major opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP) and Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) have already announced their support for the protests.
In a written warning notice, the Islamabad Capital Territory Police also warned crane and excavator machine operators, power generator vendors, welders and hardware stores against offering their products and services to the participants of the protest.
According to reports, all 22 police stations of Islamabad have issued advance notices to the mentioned service providers and business owners operating in areas of their jurisdiction. As per the warning notice, supply of any tools, accessories and equipment for the protest is strictly prohibited. Those found involved in the activity would face action, it read.
Rejecting the police’s warning not, All Pakistan Anjuman Tajaran President Ajmal Baloch questioned how could an institution prohibit traders from earning their living?
Baloch said that the law does not allow any such move.
“Not long ago, people from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) would procure food from catering services and hotels in Islamabad and Rawalpindi when they were on their anti-government protest spree and staged a sit-in at D-Chowk for 126 days,” said Baloch, adding that there were no such restrictions back then so why is such a ban being placed right now?
It merits a mention here that in his inaugural speech in Parliament House as prime minister, Imran Khan had vowed to facilitate the opposition if they planned to stage protests against his government in the federal capital.
PM Imran had even offered to provide food for the protesters besides arranging for containers for the opposition leaders at D-Chowk.